Primary children get smart

AUTHOR: Inavate

The St Matthew Academy in Blackheath, London this week played host to the European launch of Smart Technologies’s new Smart table interactive learning centre. National news media as well as the AV trade press were on hand to see children from class 2E be the first European children to get their hands on Smart’s latest interactive product for the education market.

Speaking at the launch, Smart Technologies co-founder and CEO Nancy Knowlton said: “Whilst our interactive whiteboards are a whole-class learning platform, we recognise that in a classroom there are other activities going on such as small group learning.”

The Smart table is designed for kids between the ages of 4 to 11 and features a touch-sensitive surface allowing groups of children to interact simultaneously with digital content. It incorporates a rear-projection surface and a built-in PC, and is very much intended as a stand-alone appliance. Whilst Knowlton made it clear that the intention is to allow the tables to interact with other Smart products such as whiteboards, she was unwilling to go into specifics on how that might be achieved.

It was clear that Smart are concerned about making the product as simple to use, and child-proof as possible, which means initially no internet access or network connection – new applications and content (both of which can be developed by third party developments) will be introduced by USB device.

The product will be widely shown at BETT in January and will be available in spring 2009.